Thursday, December 29, 2011

Now playing in Leesport - 'Golly Gee Whiz'

Genesius Recommends a Special Family Show
Performances at "Easy Does it"
1300 Hilltop Road, Leesport, PA
(off Bernville Road and near Blue Marsh)

See below from the show producers
Don't Miss The Fun Family Youth Musical at EASY DOES IT... Bring your kids,  grand kids, nieces, nephews, the neighbors kids and also bring that "kid at heart..." YOU ... to...

Dec. 28, 29, 30, at 2 and 6 PM

"Golly Gee Whiz" is like steppin' into a Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney Movie Musical from the 1930's!!!

Come out and support many Genesius Actors...  Emily Snyder, Jon Browning, Katie Ott, Becca Snyder, James Haggerty, Caleb Seip, Summer Rose Biros, Briana Christie, Thomas Biros and an adorable chorus of cute kids ages 6 to 14... 

Directed by Larry Fecho, Music Directed by Dave Neel and Choreographed by Michael Roman and Emily Snyder!!!

$12.00 - Adults $8.00 - Kids 13 and under...

For more info call Larry at 610-780-7627 - 
Easy Does It is located at 1300 Hilltop Road, Leesport  
Media Sponsor – Interlace Communications 

Call - 610-898-7909 to purchase tickets with a credit card... (fees apply) or you can get tickets at the door - (cash or check only)

Friday, December 16, 2011

RCT's "Nunsense" is a habit you don't want to kick

Olivia Damore, Christine Cieplinski, Erin Stevens, Linda Kauffman, and Ellen Bryan in "Nunsense"
 By Cheryl Thornburg
  No matter how many times I see "Nunsense" -- it never gets old. The jokes make me laugh, the music makes my toes tap and sometimes -- my hands clap.
  Such is the case with Reading Civic Theatre's current production running this weekend only at Alvernia University.
  Director Debbi Silas has assembled a great group of singing and dancing "nuns" to bring this irreverent and outrageously funny musical comedy by Dan Goggins to Reading-area theater lovers.
  Each of the Little Sisters of Hoboken gets to showcase her talent in a variety show to raise money for the burial of the last four of 52 sisters who died when the convent cook, Sister Julia (Child of God)  accidentally served bad vichyssoise. They are temporarily being stored in the convent freezer.
   Linda Kauffman proves she's a fine comedic actress as the Reverend Mother, particularly in the scene where she accidentally tries out a substance found at the school and finds a "higher" calling.
  Christine Cieplinski gets to deliver my favorite number in this show as Sister Mary Hubert, the convent's Mistress of Novices. With every powerful chorus of  "Holier Than Thou," she pumps up the audience with this hand-clapping foot-stomping revival-style number that sticks in your head for hours after you leave the theater.
  Another favorite of mine is Sister Robert Anne, the nun from Brooklyn whose antics keep the convent (and the audience) laughing. Ellen Bryan's Sister Robert Anne is a double delight -- she shows off her softer side in the ballad, "Growing Up Catholic" and her brash street-wise side in the spunky "I Just Want To Be A Star."
   Olivia Damore brings a sweet innocence to her Sister Mary Amnesia, the nun who lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head.  She demonstrates great comedic and vocal skills in the segment "So You Want To Be A Nun" with her alter ego, a ventriloquist's dummy, Sister Mary Annette. She also shines in "I Could've Gone To Nashville" when she finally remembers her name.
  As Sister Mary Leo, Erin Stevens is delightful as the nun who dreams of being a ballerina. Once you've seen her interpretation of "The Dying Nun," you won't forget it.
  Rounding out the cast is Danelle Wagner as the Stage Manager/ Nun.
  Silas was assisted by Jeannette DeAngelo, who also choreographed, and music director, Kevin Cooper.
   With songs titled "Nunsense Is Habit-Forming," "We've Got To Clean Out The Freezer"  and "Drive-In" by the Saint Andrew's Sisters," it's easy to tell that this show is filled with one over-the-top, laugh-inducing  number after  another.  It's "nun-stop" fun -- if you'll pardon the pun.
  This review is based on Thursday's dress rehearsal, which had some minor technicalities that had to be tweaked, but there is no doubt that this weekend's performances will be heavenly and hilarious.
  The show opens today, December 16 at 8 p.m. at the Francis Hall Theatre at Alvernia University and runs Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m and 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 18 at 3 p.m.  Tickets are $28 and seniors $25.   

For ticket information call 610-373-3311 or go to

Here's  a sample from the production:

For up-to date info on area theater happenings, auditions and reviews, follow me on Twitter at MercArtsCheryl

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Genesius auditions for Man of La Mancha and Miss Saigon

Man of La Mancha  and  Miss Saigon
Audition Dates –   
January 3, 4 and 5 – 6:30 to 9:30 PM

By appointment only!
Auditions open to Actors 15 years and older
Man of La Mancha  Performance Dates: March 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 2012 – possible extension
Miss Saigon Performance Dates: June 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30 July 1, 2012 – possible extension
1 . Since we are auditioning both  Man of La Mancha  (opens March 16) and  Miss Saigon (opens June 22) at the same time, you are required to make an appointment.  
Please email Larry Fecho at  and list in the email…
1. The date/day and general time of when you would like to audition.
2. Please also list your name, address, home and cell phone, email address
3. Which part(s) you are interested in and for what show.
You will receive an  Email Date Confirmation  offering you a general appointment time.   (See more about your audition appointment below.) You will also receive the monologues for the  Man of La Mancha  audition.  You are welcome to audition for one show or both.
*Please Note: This type of audition is a pre-curser to a Yearly Audition format we will be initiating in 2013.
2.  All actors auditioning for  Man of La Mancha  are  required  to audition with one of the monologues provided.
3.  A pianist will be available.  PLEASE BE PREPARED
Man of La Mancha – Audition Songs
Aldonza/Women's Roles - Its All The Same and Aldonza - Quixote/Sancho/Other Male Roles - I Like Him and Impossible Dream...
Miss Saigon – Audition Songs
Engineer:  Bangkok  #30 - #71 - American Dream #37- #74
Kim:  Last Night of the World #26 - #54 - Finale Act 1 (I'd Give My Life For You) #32 - #61
Chris:  Last Night of the World #26 - #54 - Why God #52 - #88
John:  Bui Doi #22 - #57
Ellen:  Now That I've Seen Her  #35 - #66
Thuy:  Thuy's Death #28 - #43
Men:  The Heat is on in Saigon #10 - #22
Women, Gigi, Mimi, Yvonne, and Yvette:  Movie in my Mind #27 - #46
4.   Dance Audition will be at  Callbacks ONLY .
5.  Actors must sign up for a date and arrive at least 10 minutes before the start of your audition time. The audition process may last 30 to 60 minutes, during that time, groups of actors will be asked to sing, act, and fill out paperwork.  PLEASE DO NOT BE LATE!  If you discover on the day of your audition that you can't make your scheduled time, please call Larry Fecho at  610-780-7627  to schedule a new time.   
6.  Please bring your calendar to the audition to list  ALL CONFLICTS  that you are currently aware of.  
7.  Bring a copy of your theatre resume and a recent photo, neither will be returned.
8.  Rehearsals for  Man of La Mancha  will begin in mid to late January and  Miss Saigon will start in mid to late April (Keeping in mind that out-of-town college students may not be home until early May, they will be allowed to begin once they arrive back in town) You should expect up to five rehearsals (4 evenings and one Sunday All Day rehearsal) per week. However, not everyone will be needed for every rehearsal.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

RCT brings laughter to the holidays with 'Nunsense'

  Reading Civic Theatre, in conjunction with Alvernia University, invites you to join the Little Sisters of Hoboken in "Nunsense," Dan Goggin’s hilarious musical comedy hit Dec. 16-18.  Laugh with the sisters as they embark on their variety show to raise money to ward off a convent tragedy.
  Meet Reverend Mother Mary Regina, a former circus performer, a firm, but warm leader. Sister Mary Hubert, the Mistress of Novices, who always stands at Reverend Mother’s right, keeping Mary Regina in line.  A streetwise nun from Brooklyn named Sister Robert Anne upsets Reverend Mother with her unconventional antics and drives the convent car. Sister Mary Leo, the novice, dreams of being a ballerina and the wacky Sister Mary Amnesia, the nun who lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head. 
  The show is directed by Debbi Silas.  Jeannette DeAngelo assisted and choreographed.  The music director is Kevin Cooper. 
  The cast includes Linda Kauffman as the Reverend Mother (Sister Mary Regina), Christine Cieplinski as Sister Mary Hubert, Olivia Damore as Sister Mary Amnesia, Ellen Bryan as Sister Robert Anne, Erin Stevens as Sister Mary Leo, and Danelle Wagner as Stage Manager/ Nun.
  The show opens Friday, December 16 at 8 p.m. at the Francis Hall Theatre at Alvernia University and runs Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m and 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 18 at 3 p.m.  Tickets are $28 and Seniors $25.   For ticket information call 610-373-3311 or go to" 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tri-PAC's 'A Christmas Story' is a gift to theater lovers

Cowboy-Fantasy - David Helmer as Ralphie, Geoffrey Berwind as Ralph

By Cheryl Thornburg
  Having heard the anecdotes of " A Christmas Story" from the lips of author Jean Shepherd himself, I wasn't sure if the stage production would live up to the images generated in my own head as I listened to Shepherd's smooth and captivating delivery on the radio more than 30 years ago, but Tri-PAC has done it again.
Admiring-his-Prize - Steve Reazor as The Old Man
  From the Pepto-Bismol pink bunny rabbit to the outrageous leg lamp, the props and set recreate Shepherd's world of 1940s Indiana perfectly.  And talented cast captures the essence of the characters as well.
  For those unfamiliar with the story,  "A Christmas Story"  focuses on Ralphie who wants a  Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. His nonstop campaign to convince his parents that he won't "shoot his eye out" is the thread that ties together all of the other totally hilarious incidents from Shepherd’s novel “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.”
  Director Bill Kiesling gathered so many talented actors together, that several of the children's roles are double cast.  Sundays' performance featured David Helmer as Ralphie.  He is tautly believable in the role, particularly in his interaction with his brother, Randy,  and his friends, Flick and Schwartz.  
Geoffrey Berwind as  the adult Ralph
Randy is played by Xander Dake who managed to steal most of the scenes he is in, whether hiding from his parents or loudly declaring he has to go to the bathroom, he had the audience laughing again and again.  Sunday's audience by the way was filled with many of the young actors' peers as 102 Girl Scouts attended the performance in honor of the Girl Scouts 100th anniversary.
   Flick and Schwartz were played to perfection by Nathan Esser and Sebastian Coates.
  Olivia Swenson is delightful as  Esther Jane Alberry, the girl who is obviously smitten with Ralphie. Her facial expressions and body language bring back fond memories of Puppy Love.
    Helen Weathers. the smart one, is played by Lauren Esser with a charm reminiscent of Emma Watson as Hermione in the first Harry Potter movie.
   The bully, Scut Farkus, was played William Bell on Sunday, and he made the most of chasing and arm-twisting the smaller kids.
   Alternate cast members are Ben Williams (Ralphie), Carter Niness (Flick),  Josiah Swenson (Schwartz),  Alex Tomarelli (Scut Farkus),  Jenna Tomarelli (Esther Jane Alberry), and Hannah Paczkowski  (Helen Waethers.)  In  a cast talk-back after the show, it was mentioned that the interpretations of the characters is different with each cast, so it might be fun to see it twice.
Andrea Frassoni as Mother & Xander Dake as Randy
  The adult members of the cast were amazing to watch.  It's hard to tell who was having more fun, the audience or them.
  Steve Reazor is outrageously funny as Ralphie's dad, otherwise known as "The Old Man." Reazor has great comedic timing and delivers a multitude of fake curse words with such enthusiasm, that at times, it seems like he is really cussing.
   Geoffrey Berwind as the adult Ralph, looking back on his Christmas past, delivers Shepherd's words with just the right pacing and nuance. I could close my eyes and almost hear Shepherd himself.
   Providing the perfect foil to Reazor's over-the-top dad, is Andrea Frassoni as the mother.  Her delivery is more subtle, evoking moms of the '40s and '50s, with an endearing quality that makes her the glue that holds the family together.
  My favorite scene is the battle over the atrocious "leg lamp" that the father loves and she hates. Choreographed to music, as each in turn, turns the lamp on and off while the other isn't looking, is comedic genius.
   Adding to the laughter in this holiday favorite is Michele Bolay as Miss Shields, Ralphie's teacher.  She may not have as much time on stage as the others, but she makes the most if it, particulary in Ralphie's dream sequence when she turns into a witch.
  Once again Village Productions and the Tri-County Perfroming Arts Center has delivered the complete package, with actors, sets (Aaron Gould), props (Greg Kasander), lighting (Joe Tomarelli) and costumes (Nicole Kline)  all coming together for a fun night (or afternoon) at the theater.
  The show  runs weekends through December 18 at  the Tri-County Performing Arts Center at 245 E. High St. in Pottsown.
  Tickets are available online at or will be sold at the door if space is available.  Ticket prices range from $13 to $21, with discounts for students and seniors as well as groups of 10 or more.  For full information check  or call the theater at 610-970-1199. 

P.S.  If just some of the 102 Girls Scouts attending have been bitten by the theater bug as performers or audience members, that's great for the future of live theater.

For up-to-date  information on area theater productions, reviews and auditions,  follow me on Twitter @MercArtsCheryl or book mark Curtain Call at

Sunday, December 4, 2011

FCT's 'Lend Me A Tenor' hits a high note in comedy

By Cheryl Thornburg
  Lend me a tissue, because I laughed till I cried at Fleetwood Community Theatre's outrageously over-the-top production of "Lend Me A Tenor" Saturday night. Ken Ludwig's comedy about Tito Merelli,  a famous opera singer, and the antics that ensue when he is unable to perform, is a cross between Shakespeare and The Three Stooges.  There are love triangles, mistaken identity and all sorts of mischief at a nonstop pace that keeps the audience engaged.
  The production is filled with some of the most physical comedy I've seen in a while and  director Tara Sands put together a cast that was more than up to the task as they chased each other around the stage, and at times around the audience.
  Stan Durlak is superb as Merelli, the world-famous tenor, otherwise known as "Il Stupendo." With his exaggerated gestures and Italian accent, he lets the audience know they're in for a romp from the moment he sets foot on stage.
  Matching Durlak measure for measure is Brian Miller as Max, the somewhat shy tenor, who wants a career on stage as well as his boss' daughter, Maggie. Miller goes from the insecure Max to a flamboyant faux Merelli with ease as he takes the audience on this zany adventure.
   Keeping up with these two is Kevin Wade as Saunders, Max's boss and Maggie's dad. Wade is so good at pushing people around mentally and physically that he seems believable in this otherwise unbelievable misadventure.
  The gentlemen don't have all the fun, however. The ladies have their shining moments  -- and some of the best lines in the play.
  Nadine Poper is the perfect verbal sparring partner to Durlak, as Maria, Merelli's  fiery wife who won't put up with his philandering. She has  my favorite line in the show, "Some day you're going to wake up and you're going to be a soprano."
   Max's love interest, Maggie, is played by Melissa Kopicz with just the right touch of naivete as she ignores Max's advances and dreams of a dalliance with the charismatic Merelli.
  Heidi Carletti once again shows she has a flair for comedy as she turns in a perfectly timed performance as the  predatory Diana, a young opera singer bent on making in big in New York -- with Merelli's help. Carletti's every step, every move is amusingly seductive as she manipulates the various men to do her bidding.
   Diann Stewart proves that she can get the audience laughing with just the right facial expression as she sails around the stage in a costume that befits her status has head of the opera guild.
  Not to be forgotten is Ryan Schlegel who plays the often abused bellhop with an amazing gift for physical comedy. He at times seems like a ragdoll as he is pushed, pulled and bullied around the stage. He's just plain fun to watch.
  And that phrase also describes the show -- just plain fun to watch.  With it's sexual innuendos, it was definitely not appropriate for youngsters, but for the rest of us, it was a laugh-filled night  that would have made even the grumpiest curmudgeon chuckle.
  All of that is in the past tense, because unfortunately, this dinner and a show was scheduled for just two nights.  But plans are under way for a similar production next year.
  This year's buffet dinner was catered by Kathryns Katering. The performance was held at St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Fleetwood, about a half-hour drive from Reading. It is easy to find and there's ample parking.  Other performances have been held at Fleetwood High School.
  FCT has announced its 2012 season which includes Neil Simon's "Oscar & Felix" in March and "Children of Eden" in July. Details will be posted here at Curtain Call.

For information on current area productions, auditions and fundraisers, bookmark Curtain Call at and follow me on Twitter @ MercArtsCheryl .

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Don't miss Genesius' 'Sound of Music'

By Cheryl Thornburg
Berks County is blessed with some incredible voices and many of them are bringing to life the unforgettable score of Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved classic "The Sound of Music" now playing at Genesius Theatre in Reading. The musical, based on the true story of the von Trapp family and their escape from Austria as the Nazis take over, is familiar to most adults and this production will enchant a whole new generation with its inspiring songs and memorable characters.
Erin Aregood is captivating  as Maria, the spunky novice nun, who is sent to be a governess for the seven children of the widowed Captain Von Trapp. Her delivery of such favorites  as "The Sound of Music" and "My Favorite Things" is as good as it gets, as is her duet "Something Good" with Chris Duffy as Captain Georg von Trapp.
Duffy is perfect as the stern captain who keeps his children at a distance and has treated them like little soldiers since his wife died. 
Meegan Gagnon is heavenly as The Mother Abbess.  Her exquisite soprano accentuates many of the numbers in the Abbey and fills the theater for the powerful and breathtaking "Climb Every Mountain."
 Kathryn Ott plays Liesl, the eldest of the von Trapp children, with delightful naiveté. Her playful duet, "Sixteen Going on Seventeen"  with Quinn Corcoran as Rolf Gruber, a budding Nazi delivery boy, is a highpoint of the show. The two have a  believable chemistry that makes them fun to watch.
The remaining von Trapp children take turns being scene-stealers, with Margaux Gagnon as the youngest, Gretl, at the top of the list. The audience falls in love with her.
Grayson Ziegler, is charming as the shy Freidrich; Molly Sweigart, is delightfully mischievous as Louisa;  Zac Zabinski turns on the charisma as the exuberant Kurt; Alex Goshert, is appropriately serious as the the truth-telling as Brigitta; and Isabella Siegel is adoreable as Marta, the second youngest of the von Trapp brood who loves pink.)
Anita Lewis delivers  a perfectly conniving Elsa Schraeder, the countess who wants to be the next Mrs. von Trapp.  Equally conniving is  Brian Trupp as Max Detweiler, the captain's friend who wants the von Tarpp children to perform in a music festival, despite their father's objections. These two, along with Duffy offer up a rousing version of "No Way to Stop It," one of the lesser known songs from the show.
Rounding out this talented cast are Katie Mohn as Sister Berthe,  Laura Kruse as Sister Margaretta, Heather Troxell as Sister Sophia,  Randy Gerber as Franz,  Marjory Ewald as Frau Schmidt,  Patrick Malarkey as Herr Zeller, Bob Aregood as Baron Elberfeld,  Pat Rehr as Baroness Elberfeld, Mackenzie Siegel, as a postulant, Dean Fichthorn as Admiral Von Schreiber, and Summer Rose Biros, Briana Christie, Maxi Estrada, Abby Hoy, Trey Petrarca, and Karissa Smith as neighbors of Captain Von Trapp, nuns, novices, postulates, and contestants in the festival concert.
Unsung, but exquisitely heard, are the members of the orchestra, hidden behind a black screen above the stage.  Directed by Dave Neel, the orchestra includes Sue McDevitt, Greg Reber, Jessica Reber, Brad Richards, Jessica Manning, Jan Dixon, Kaitlyn Reber, Melissa Barlow, Nicole Schroeder, Howard Snyder, Jewell Brown, Elizabeth Vesper, Ann Cusano, Paul Breitenstein, Ethan Whitkin, Erin Deininger, Bob Yelk, Jon T. Houser, Matt Phillips and Ray Rhoads.
"The Sound of Music" is feel-good family entertainment guaranteed to have you leave the theater smiling.  The show is already almost sold out, so order tickets ASAP.
Remaining performances are Dec. 3, 9, & 10 at 8 p.m., Dec. 4 & 11 at 3 p.m., and December 7 & 8 at 7 p.m. Tickets for performances are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for students with ID. All seats for the Wednesday Dec. 7 and Thursday Dec. 8 performances are $15. For tickets and more information visit the Genesius Website at or call the Genesius Reservation Hot-Line at 610-373-9500.   The theatre is located at 10th and Walnut streets in Reading.  Genesius has free parking next to the theater, just off 10th Street and is handicap accessible.  The production is rated G.

For a sneak peek  check out this rehearsal footage:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

On stage in December

Featured performances

READING  --  Genesius Theatre presents one of the most memorable musicals of all time, "The Sound of Music" through Dec. 11.  The story of Marie, a high-spirited novice in an Austrian convent who becomes the governess for the seven children of the widowed Captain Von Trapp and the family's escape from the Nazis is one  that inspires generation after generation.  

Performances are December 2, 3, 9, & 10 at 8 p.m., December 4 & 11 at 3 p.m., and December 7 & 8 at 7 p.m. Tickets for performances are $25 for adults, $20 for Seniors, and $15 for Students with ID. All seats for the Wednesday Dec. 7 and Thursday Dec. 8 performances are $15. For tickets and more information visit the Genesius Website at or call the Genesius Reservation Hot-Line at 610-373-9500.   The theatre is located at 10th and Walnut streets in Reading.  Genesius has free parking next to the theater, just off 10th Street and is handicap accessible.  The production is rated G.

POTTSTOWN  -- Tri-County Performing Arts Center presents the classic holiday tale, "A Christmas Story" weekends through December 18  at 245 E. High St. in Pottstown. 
 Jean Shepherd's story about Ralphie who wants a  Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas is an old favorite. Tickets are available online at or will be sold at the door if space is available.  Ticket prices range from $13 to $21, with discounts for students and seniors as well as groups of 10 or more.  For full information check  or call the theater at 610-970-1199.

FLEETWOOD -- Fleetwood Community Theatre presents dinner and a show -- "Lend Me a Tenor" Dec. 2 and 3 at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, 5 West Arch St, Fleetwood, PA 19522
The comedy about tenor Tito Merelli, known to his fans as “Il Stupendo,” features mistaken identity, plot twists, and lost of innuendoes not suitable for younger audiences.
The cost of a ticket includes a hot buffet dinner prepared by Kathryns Katering and served by FCT members before the show from 6 to 7 p.m. Dinner includes Chicken Italiano and roast beef, parsley potatoes, corn, green beans almondine, fruit cup, salad, rolls and butter, water, coffee, lemonade and tea. Home-made desert will be served at intermission with coffee and tea Tickets are for sale and are only available in advance by calling 610-944-3610. Seating is very limited per performance. Doors open at 6 p.m. Performance begins at 7:30 p.m. The show is not recommended for young children because of mature language and situations.

Other area productions
   Students of Daniel Boone High School will present “Babble” at 7 p.m. on Dec. 2 and 3 at the high school. Tickets will be $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.
Alpha Omega Players, 301 E. First St., Birdsboro, present "Once on This Island" through Dec. 4,, 610-404-4844

Ephrata Performing Arts Center's Sharadin-Bigler Theater, Cocalico Street, Ephrata (717-733-7966) "Cats" Dec. 8-23

Fleetwood Community Theatre presents Dinner and a Show -- "Lend me a Tenor" Dec. 2 & 3. Details above.

Hershey Theatre, 15 E. Caracas Ave., Hershey (717-534-3405)
"Disney's Phineas and Ferb: The Best Live Tour Ever!"; 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 2
"Shrek the Musical"; Dec. 27 through Jan. 1

 Kutztown University, Schaeffer Auditorium, Kutztown (610-683-4092) Children's Series presents "The Snowman" at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 and 3 p.m. Dec. 4

People’s Light & Theatre presents Treasure Island: A Musical Panto, through January 8, 2012 on the Main Stage. In Treasure Island: A Musical Panto, Mother Hawkins and Long John Silver return for the holidays with the rascally rabble aboard Ye Olde Blowharde. They sing, dance, stagger, and swim their way through a few of the Seven Seas in search of Billy Bones’ treasure. The Panto is a tradition borrowed from England, where almost every town has a Panto during the holiday season. Pantos are a mix between a fractured fairy tale and a variety show, using familiar stories to form the basis for exaggeration, outrageous jokes, and rollicking songs and dances. Single tickets range in price from $35 – $45. For tickets, call the box office at 610-644-3500. Special discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call 610-647-1900 x134 or email People’s Light & Theatre is located at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA 19355.

Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. Second St., Philadelphia (215-922-1122
"The Whipping Man" through Dec. 18

Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St., Philadelphia (215-923-1515)
"Jersey Boys" Dec. 6 through Jan. 15

Plays and Players Theater, 1714 Delancey St., Philadelphia (215-735-7356)
1812 Productions presents "This Is the Week That Is"  through Dec. 31

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia (215-413-1318)
Walnut Street Theatre continues its landmark 203rd season with an all-new production of Broadway’s Tony Award-winning family musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s  "The King and I"  runs through January 8 on the WST Mainstage. It is the story of the British governess brought into the court of Siam to tutor the King's many children. This unique love story is told with a glorious score, including "Getting to Know You," "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Hello Young Lovers" and "Shall We Dance."  For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting or Ticketmaster.

Tri-County Performing Arts Center presents "A Christmas Story" through Dec. 18. See details above.

The Crowded Kitchen Players production of "The Down of a Thistle," an original Christmas thriller written by Ara Barlieb,  opens Friday and runs through Dec. 18 at McCoole's Arts & Events Place in Quakertown. When a wealthy and somewhat dysfunctional family endeavors to celebrate Christmas at their Adirondack Mountains retreat, an unseen attacker begins taunting them with clues buried in pages literally torn from the traditional yuletide verse, "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (aka "The Night Before Christmas"). Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17, as well as at 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 11 and 18 at McCoole's is at 10 S. Main St. Tickets: $18; seniors, $14; students, $8; all tickets are $10 on opening night. Information and reservations: 610-395-7176; email;

Genesius Theatre "The Sound of Music" Dec. 2- 11. See details above.

 Reading Eagle Theater at the Sovereign Center, 700 Penn St. (800-745-3000)
"Disney's Phineas and Ferb: The Best Live Tour Ever!"; 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 3

Sovereign Performing Arts Center, 136 N. Sixth St. (1-800-745-3000)
Broadway on Sixth Street Series presents "Mamma Mia!" at  2 p.m. Dec. 4

Reading Civic Theatre  presents "Nunsense," Dan Goggins outrageously funny musical about the Little Sisters of Hoboken Dec. 16-18 at Alvernia University, Francis Hall, 400 Saint Bernadine St. Reading. Four shows only -- Friday Dec. 16 at 8 p.m., Saturday Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. For tickets, call 610-373-3311 or visit

   American Family Theater presents “Babes in Toyland,” at the Spring-Ford High School 10-12 Grade Center, 350 South Lewis Road, Royersford, on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 1 and 3 p.m. The family-friendly production takes the audience on a musical- and dance-filled journey with characters Alan, Mary, Widow Piper, Jill and Barnaby, who are on an adventure to Toyland. Admission for the musical is $3. Doors open to the public at 12:30 p.m. Those attending are asked to enter through door number 12 at the high school. For questions and information about the performance, contact Mary Chrisman at the district office by calling 610-705-6000.  For additional information, visit the American Family Theater Inc.’s website at

Dutch Country Players present "The Rented Christmas" Friday, Dec. 2, starting at 8 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, 3, 4, 10 &, 11 starting at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.  All tickets  are $7. It is the story of a man who  hasn't enjoyed a "real Christmas" for years so he decides to "rent" a Christmas from the local rent shop.  The theater is located on Route 563 (Ridge Road) one-half mile east of Route 63 at 795 Ridge Road, Telford, PA 18969. For more information, call DCP Theatre at (215)234-0966.